Let’s discount the fact that the victim survived the Battle of Okinawa, where he earned a Purple Heart after taking a bullet in the leg during World War II. Let’s also discount the theory that the head injuries that cost the man his life were likely inflicted as part of a random beating. Let’s finally discount racism as a motive in the crime, which police believed was committed by two black teens for whom they are now searching.
Putting all that aside, where is the immediate and widespread public outrage over another senseless killing, and one moreover of a man who served his country with honor? Are we so inured to deadly violence unless the victim is black that our news media now look the other way when the racial components are reversed?
According to Fox News, police in Spokane, Wash., are searching for two young suspects who savagely beat 88-year-old Delbert Belton in a parking lot Wednesday and left him for dead.
The Spokane Police Department says in a press release officers responded to reports of an assault Wednesday and found the victim in his car with serious head injuries. He later died Thursday in the hospital.
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Authorities on Thursday released surveillance photos of the two suspects, who they describe as African-American males between the ages of 16 and 19.
Belton was sitting outside a lodge for the Fraternal Order of the Eagles when he was attacked.
Spokane Police Major Crimes Detective Lieutenant Mark Griffiths told station KXLY:
It does appear random. He was in the parking lot. It appears he was assaulted in the parking lot and there was no indication that he would have known these people prior to the assault.
One suspect has been described as heavy-set and wearing all black clothing. The other was described as being about 6 feet tall and weighing 150 pounds. The second suspect was said to have been wearing a silk do-rag.
Maybe the nation is beginning to experience overload. Last week a white male was shot to death either out of boredom on the part of the perpetrators or to satisfy some gang initiation. Now this.
Major crimes investigators have just confirmed that one teenager has been arrested in the beating death of WWII veteran Delbert Belton. One suspect remains on the loose. Charges of 1st degree murder and 1st degree robbery pending.
At this hour we don’t know which of the suspects pictured has been caught, we are awaiting more details from Spokane Police.